Hino to res­cue in emer­gen­cies

Big Rigs - - NEWS - David Vile

ALONG with the po­lice, fire brigade and am­bu­lance ser­vices, res­cue or­gan­i­sa­tions pro­vide es­sen­tial ser­vices across a range of emer­gen­cies.

Across New South Wales, the Vol­un­teer Res­cue As­so­ci­a­tion is ac­tive in more than 58 lo­ca­tions across the state pro­vid­ing an es­sen­tial role.

One of those 58 lo­ca­tions is De­niliquin, in the Rive­rina, with the De­niliquin VRA hav­ing 14 ac­tive mem­bers on call 24 hours a day.

At the re­cent De­niliquin Truck Show and In­dus­try Expo, the crew had their res­cue truck with its myr­iad of res­cue gear on dis­play.

De­niliquin VRA deputy cap­tain Mark Jef­frey gave a run­down of the 2002 Hino FD res­cue truck and how it is put to good use across a wide area.

“We pro­vide a pri­mary res­cue ser­vice for mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents, along with search and res­cue, first aid along with ver­ti­cal and swift­wa­ter res­cue, and the truck is well-set up for the jobs we at­tend across the greater Rive­rina area,” he said.

The Hino came to the De­niliquin VRA eight years ago, hav­ing pre­vi­ously seen ser­vice with the New South Wales Po­lice Force in the Illawarra re­gion, be­ing based with the Po­lice Res­cue Squad at Wol­lon­gong.

As a re­sult, the truck was fairly well fit­ted out in terms of body­work, but the sea air had done some dam­age, and four years ago the body was re­fur­bished and up­dated to al­low for easy ac­cess for equip­ment and tools, which range from the “jaws of life” equip­ment through to first air gear, lad­ders and emer­gency light­ing.

Be­ing a vol­un­teer op­er­a­tion, the VRA was as­sisted by lo­cal com­pany Rive­rina All­weld, which did the job at cost, with the end re­sult mak­ing the truck eas­ier to ac­cess and work from dur­ing emer­gency re­sponses.

The ar­rival of the Hino in 2010 was a timely one, re­plac­ing a well-worn Ford F-250 which had seen ser­vice for a num­ber of years and had reached its use-by date.

“No brakes, no steer­ing and no power!” Mark said.

“In win­ter you needed two peo­ple to op­er­ate it, one to drive it and the other to keep de-fog­ging the wind­screen!”

With De­niliquin bi­sected by both the Cobb and Rive­rina high­ways, un­for­tu­nately the VRA has had to at­tend its share of truck ac­ci­dents over the years, and in the past the team has un­der­taken train­ing with Royan’s from Wagga Wagga, both or­gan­i­sa­tions work­ing to­gether to keep their skills sharp and fo­cused when in­volved in heavy ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent and re­cov­ery op­er­a­tions.

The De­niliquin Truck Show and In­dus­try Expo al­lowed for the team to show off their range of equip­ment and pro­vide ad­vice to the com­mu­nity, along with pro­vid­ing a first-aid ser­vice for vis­i­tors to the show.

“We’re wear­ing two hats to­day!” said Mark.

An ap­pro­pri­ate state­ment, given the va­ri­ety of emer­gen­cies the VRA turns out to, the team needs to be flex­i­ble and pull their res­cue gear and (hard) hat on at a mo­ment’s no­tice, pro­vid­ing an es­sen­tial ser­vice for the com­mu­nity as a whole.

PHOTO: DAVID VILE

RES­CUE TRUCK: Deputy Cap­tain of the De­niliquin VRA, Mark Jef­frey, with the Hino res­cue truck.

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